On Open Borders versus Nationalism

Richard Stanley

The following excerpts are the opening and conclusion of a somewhat retro [in today's environment] article opining on the value of globally Open Borders -- clearly flying in the face of nationalist Trumpism and such. As a reformed libertarian I still have much sympathy for this viewpoint, generally speaking.

The article gets to some paradoxes where the fears of certain populations, usually those on the bubble, are whipped into paranoid xenophobia by certain elites profiting from the various cultural herd situations. Such as Trumpees can then be seen as paradoxical Freedom Loving-Freedom Haters.

What form will prevail in the ongoing unfolding of 'globalism'? A one world government sans border enclosed nation-states, or a biblical system of 'nations', possibly made of ethnic herds, yet all answering to one ... umm ... 'Lord'?

From: https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/10/get-rid-borders-completely/409501/

To paraphrase Rousseau, man is born free, yet everywhere he is caged. Barbed-wire, concrete walls, and gun-toting guards confine people to the nation-state of their birth. But why? The argument for open borders is both economic and moral. All people should be free to move about the earth, uncaged by the arbitrary lines known as borders.

[Also, these 'caged' peoples are frequently goaded into fighting wars profiting their elites. -rs]

Not every place in the world is equally well-suited to mass economic activity. Nature’s bounty is divided unevenly. Variations in wealth and income created by these differences are magnified by governments that suppress entrepreneurship and promote religious intolerance, gender discrimination, or other bigotry. Closed borders compound these injustices, cementing inequality into place and sentencing their victims to a life of penury.

The overwhelming majority of would-be immigrants want little more than to make a better life for themselves and their families by moving to economic opportunity and participating in peaceful, voluntary trade. But lawmakers and heads of state quash these dreams with state-sanctioned violence—forced repatriation, involuntary detention, or worse—often while paying lip service to “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

Freedom of movement is a basic human right. Thus the Universal Declaration of Human Rights belies its name when it proclaims this right only “within the borders of each state.” Human rights do not stop at the border.Today, we treat as pariahs those governments that refuse to let their people exit. I look forward to the day when we treat as pariahs those governments that refuse to let people enter.

Is there hope for the future? Closed borders are one of the world’s greatest moral failings but the opening of borders is the world’s greatest economic opportunity. The grandest moral revolutions in history—the abolition of slavery, the securing of religious freedom, the recognition of the rights of women—yielded a world in which virtually everyone was better off. They also demonstrated that the fears that had perpetuated these injustices were unfounded. Similarly, a planet unscarred by iron curtains is not only a world of greater equality and justice. It is a world unafraid of itself.